By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., NJ Probate Dispute Attorney

Is it better to have a judge decide a probate dispute or a jury?  Here are some considerations:  First of all, most NJ probate cases go to a chancery court judge with no option for a jury, none.  Where the facts of the case involve subtle legal distinctions and the cause of action permits a jury trial, a judge will better appreciate the law that a jury might neglect, therefore a judge is the better choice.
The same holds true where the legal issue in the case is based on technical arguments requiring the type of legal distinctions that only a judge is likely to understand.

It is often said that a bench trial with a judge only is often less complicated, less formal and less time consuming than jury trials.  It’s true.  I’ve tried many cases before both a judge and jury and I prefer a judge in many types of cases.

Advantages to a jury trial instead of a judge:

Some lawyers think t that a jury will be more sympathetic to all the parties than a judge.

Unlike judges, jurors do not see hundreds of similar probate cases in any given year and/or may be more sensitive to the particular circumstances of a defendant’s case than a judge might be. But again, jury trials in probate cases are very rare.

Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey probate dispute matter.  I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns.  You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at